My name is Manny Machado. I am a third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles. I know who I am and where I come from. Loyalty matters to me. It matters a lot.
I'm a proud Oriole. I came up with this organization and Baltimore is a city I know well, so that's why I'm going to do what I can to help out the kids in the community here. Of course, Miami is my first home. I was born and raised there and I'll always be attached to Miami. One day, I envision doing something big for the communities in Florida that helped me as a kid, but my heart tells me to start here in Baltimore and that's what I'm going to do.
:: Me In Real Life - More stories ::
My BaseBOWL event is in its fourth year and it was designed to help out the Baltimore City Foundation and the inner city kids that play baseball. At the end of the day, it's about trying to help others with the things and experiences I never had as a kid. I'm in a great situation to help out the kids in my community.
It was an easy decision to pick bowling. It's fun, it's family-oriented and low-key. Nobody is going to get hurt and it's a sport kids can play. I'm all about the kids staying active in any type of sport because the bottom line is that I want kids to stay out of the streets and out of trouble. But trust me, they won't get better at bowling by watching me. I'm sticking to baseball. I don't even keep score, I just shoot. It's a fun sport for sure, but I'm no ringer. You see me bowl and you think, "That's a baseball player, not a bowler, right there."
I have roots in Baltimore now. And I'm really proud of all of my roots. I chose to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic because that's where parts of my family were born and I wanted to honor them. I wanted to give my family something that they could never forget.
My late grandfather Francisco Nunez inspired me to go out to the baseball field every day and get better. He helped me fall in love with the game and I'm very grateful for the time I got to spend with him when he was alive. I know he is watching me from above.
I did it for my family. It's my heritage. Putting on the Dominican jersey represented them as much as it did me. Looking back at it now, it was an unbelievable tournament and unbelievable turnout. I enjoyed every single moment of it and I know my family did as well.
Well, maybe they didn't enjoy Adam Jones robbing me of a home run in San Diego, but that was an amazing play. I tell you what, Adam is one great player, but I have never seen him make such a great play and it came against me! That was insane. Maybe he should have just let it fall. We are teammates, right? But seriously, I know what kind of player he is and it's all or nothing and he goes all out for everything. He was playing just as hard as I was, so you have to respect that.
It's that drive that makes our team a good one. There is a lot of baseball ahead of us and we have been playing great. The sky is the limit for us. We have a great rotation, lineup and pitching staff. We just have to keep doing the little things that count and hopefully, we can be one of the last teams standing.
I can't say enough about my teammates. They all showed up for the kids of Baltimore to bowl after a long, hot day -- a Sunday -- and after we LOST a game. They didn't have to do that. That's special. They know it's about the kids. We are all still kids at heart.
Looking back, I know I would have appreciated any help that would make me better player. I would have loved anything that made me feel special. Yes, I'm older than the kids, but I'm still young, too. I see a lot of myself in them. I hope they look at me and see somebody like them, too.